Ookla's latest report shows that the growth rate of fixed broadband speed globally has surpassed that of mobile speed. However, overall, internet speed is improving worldwide as countries continue to invest in fiber optics and 5G.
In terms of fixed services, over the past year, broadband download speed has increased by 28%. In contrast, according to data from the Speedtest Global Index, mobile speed has grown by nearly 17% from November 2021 to November 2022. These advancements in fixed and mobile broadband connectivity highlight the increasing need for a well-designed and efficient WDM system, enabling businesses and individuals alike to leverage the full range of telecommunications technology and services available.
In terms of upload speed, Ookla's data shows fixed growth is also faster. In the past year, mobile upload speeds have increased by at least 9%, while fixed broadband upload speeds have increased by at least 30%.
In terms of latency, the changes for both fixed and mobile are minimal. Ookla notes that latency is becoming an increasingly important metric, and over the past year, mobile latency decreased from 29 milliseconds in 2021 to 28 milliseconds in 2022, while fixed broadband latency remained at 10 milliseconds.
Ookla industry analyst Mark Giles said that the overall improvement in global download speed and the performance seen in the fixed broadband field are due to "many factors." However, with the advent of 5G technology, businesses may now leverage the burgeoning potential of 5G WDM to further enhance their existing networks. This technology enables the simultaneous transmission of multiple wavelengths over a single fiber-optic cable, thereby increasing the data transmission capacity and extreme data rates, resulting in a reliable and robust telecommunications solution.
Giles said in an email to Light Reading: "In terms of mobile download speed, 5G has already established a foothold in many mature markets. Therefore, most of the improvement brought by 5G technology has been prominently reflected in the 2021 figures. Additionally, as 5G coverage expands, median performance is likely to decline. This is due to more users flocking to the new network and the improved availability of networks in lower density urban areas using low-frequency spectrum."
Regarding the fixed business, Giles said that the increasing investment in fiber optics and other developments are playing a role. He said: "In terms of overall fixed broadband performance, the penetration rate of fiber optics continues to increase. Many regulatory agencies prioritize speeding up deployment, and the adoption of more advanced WiFi, such as WiFi 6 and 6E, are all factors contributing to the significant increase in global fixed broadband download speeds."
Top 10 fastest-growing countries
Although most of the top ten countries with the fastest fixed internet speed in 2021 are still on the list in 2022, there were some notable changes. For example, in the past year, Chile's download speed rose from 173.08Mbit/s to 216.46Mbit/s, making it the first, almost on par with China (214.58Mbit/s) and Singapore (214.23 Mbit/s). China and Singapore have also seen growth in their download speed compared to last year.
The United States jumped from eighth place in 2021 to sixth place in 2022, with an average download speed of 189.48Mbit/s.
The UK has never made it into the top ten for fixed broadband annually. Spain ranked ninth in 2021 but fell out of the top ten in 2022, making way for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which joined the ranking with a median download speed of 186.76Mbit/s.
In the mobile sector, Qatar jumped to first place with a median download speed of 176.18Mbit/s (98.1Mbit/s in November 2021). The UAE followed closely behind at 139.41Mbit/s.
Denmark (113.44Mbit/s), Macau SAR China (106.38Mbit/s), and Brunei (102.36Mbit/s) replaced Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, and Kuwait in 2022. The United States and the UK did not appear in the top ten list for mobile speed.